Meals is likely one of the most seen objects within the common American funds. We eat every day and store for meals often. Groceries are additionally one of many extra versatile objects in a funds: you’ll be able to’t change your lease or automobile fee, however you’ll be able to shift your grocery buying patterns. Let’s look nearer on the common value of groceries and the way it varies with location, earnings, and household dimension.

Groceries are often outlined as meals objects which can be ready and consumed within the residence. Cash spent on consuming out or ordering out doesn’t qualify. Consumable objects typically bought in grocery shops, like cleansing provides and private hygiene objects, may be categorised as groceries.

Common Month-to-month Meals Spending

Right here’s a breakdown of the common American month-to-month spending sample. Meals is the third largest expense, however it’s not damaged down into groceries and meals ready outdoors the house.

Meals spending consists of groceries and meals away from residence, which is any meals that you just pay another person to organize for you. On common, Individuals spent $779 monthly on meals in 2022 and $9,343 over the total 12 months. Right here’s how that breaks down.

How A lot Does an Common American Spend on Groceries Every Month?

When contemplating solely grocery bills, the common American spends about $475 month-to-month and a complete of $5,703 all year long.

💳 Be taught extra: Maximize your financial savings on every day necessities with our information to the finest bank cards for groceries.

How A lot Do Individuals Must Spend on Groceries

Are Individuals spending greater than they should spend on groceries?

The US Division of Agriculture has created 4 meals plans that Individuals can observe; the Thrifty Plan, the Low-cost Plan, the Reasonable-cost Plan, and the Liberal Plan[1].

These plans consider the age and gender of an individual to calculate the common meals value. The plans are constructed on the idea that each one meals are cooked at residence and meet dietary suggestions. Figures are up to date repeatedly to account for inflation.

Listed here are the common meals prices listed within the December 2023 USDA Meals Plan[2,3]:

The common month-to-month grocery invoice of a household of two adults and one 5 12 months outdated little one within the US following the official USDA reasonable meals plan is $898. That’s considerably increased than the common family meals expenditure of $779. The disparity is as a result of many American households don’t have kids, which brings down the common expenditure.

US Census knowledge signifies that the common household family dimension is 3.2 folks, whereas the common non-family family dimension is only one.25 folks. The typical meals expenditure is just not damaged down by household and non-family households, however household households may have considerably increased meals expenditures than non-family households.

Greater Earnings Earners Spend Extra on Groceries

Earnings has a serious impression on grocery spending. Unsurprisingly, a better earnings rolls out a smorgasbord of choices. Folks with increased incomes can afford to pay extra for natural produce, imported meals, and connoisseur objects[4].

Low incomes additionally affect general decisions. In keeping with a 2019 research, lower-income households buy fewer wholesome meals like greens and dairy merchandise than households with a better earnings. The research famous that “lower-income households had decrease (poorer diet high quality) scores in contrast with higher-income households”.

Low-income households additionally pay extra for the meals they purchase. Customers can save important quantities by shopping for non-perishable objects in bulk, however a tighter funds places money-saving bulk purchases out of attain. Low-income households store on-line much less often, and so they have much less entry to massive grocery shops with aggressive pricing.

How Has the Value of Groceries Modified Over the Years?

Common meals expenditures for each meals ready at residence and meals ordered outdoors the house have elevated steadily for a few years, with a very sharp bounce through the excessive inflation interval of 2022[4].

Meals costs elevated sharply through the inflation surge in 2022. Meals value inflation abated considerably in 2023 however was nonetheless effectively above historic averages.

Midyear inflation for major US food categories, 2022 and 2023

Egg and poultry costs have been hit by an outbreak of Extremely Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Egg costs had the biggest value enhance (32.2%) between 2021 and 2022 of any class tracked by USDA. Beef and veal costs elevated the least (5.3%) between 2021 and 2022 and customarily declined from peak costs in November 2021.

The USDA predicts that food-at-home costs will drop 0.6% in 2024, with food-away-from-home costs forecast to rise 4.9%[5].

The Common Value of Groceries by State

The typical value of groceries varies significantly by state. Hawaii and Alaska usually see the highest prices, as many items need to be shipped over massive distances[6].


Earnings is a elementary issue influencing family spending on groceries. Greater earnings permits households to allocate extra money for meals and different bills. Excessive-income households might have the flexibleness to decide on premium and natural merchandise, contributing to a better general grocery invoice.

Decrease-income households typically face funds constraints, main them to make cost-conscious decisions. Dietary decisions, cultural preferences, and life-style choices affect the kinds of meals objects folks buy.

Family grocery spending is a posh end result influenced by a mix of things, together with earnings, demographic traits, location, preferences, financial circumstances, and exterior occasions. Understanding these elements helps policymakers, companies, and people make knowledgeable choices about budgeting, useful resource allocation, and responding to dynamic market circumstances.